Kohrman, Matthew

Associate Professor
Ph.D. Harvard, 1999

Matthew Kohrman joined Stanford’s faculty in 1999.  His research and writing bring anthropological methods to bear on the ways health, culture, and politics are interrelated.  Focusing on the People's Republic of China, he engages various intellectual terrains such as governmentality, gender theory, political economy, critical science studies, narrativity, and embodiment.  His first monograph, Bodies of Difference: Experiences of Disability and Institutional Advocacy in the Making of Modern China, examines links between the emergence of a state-sponsored disability-advocacy organization and the lives of Chinese men who have trouble walking.  Recently, Prof. Kohrman has been involved in research aimed at analyzing and intervening in the biopolitics of cigarette smoking among Chinese citizens. This work expands upon heuristic themes of his earlier disability research and engages in novel ways techniques of public health, political philosophy, and spatial history.
Office Hours:
Prof. Kohrman would be happy to meet with you during his office hours which are Mondays from 1-3 PM over the academic year. To sign up, please click HERE.


Selected Publications: 

Poisonous Pandas and Pagodas: Critical Historical Perspectives on Chinese Cigarette Manufacturing (Editors of this volume: M. Kohrman, Gan Quan, Liu Wennan, Robert Proctor). Out for review.
“A Mayan Temple on the Huangpu: The China Tobacco Museum Historicizes the Cigarette.” Out for review.
“Wrangling the Cash Cow: Reforming Tobacco Taxation Since Mao” (Authors: M. Kohrman, Gan Quan, Teh-wei Hu). Out for review.
“Cloaks and Veils: Countervisualizing Cigarette Factories In and Outside of China,” Anthropological Quarterly, accepted for publication.
2013 "Smoking Intensity Among Male Factory Workers in Kunming, China." Co-authored with Kai-Wen Cheng et al. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health.
2011 “Tobacco.” Co-authored with Peter Benson. Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 40: 329-344.
2010 “New Steps for Tobacco Control In and Outside of China. ” Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health vol. 22(3):189S-196S
2008 “Anthropology in China’s Health Promotion and Tobacco.”  Co-authored with Xiao Shuiyuan.  The Lancet, vol. 372, S01:10-11. [Chinese version available here.]
2008 "Should I Quit?  Tobacco, Fraught Identity, and the Risks of Governmentality in Urban China.” (Revised and updated reprint.)  In Privatizing China: Socialism from Afar.  Li Zhang & Aihwa Ong (Editors).  Cornell University Press.
2008 "Smoking among Doctors: Governmentality, Embodiment, and the Diversion of Blame in Contemporary China." Medical Anthropology, vol. 27(1): 9-42.
2007 "Tobacco Control in Developing Countries: Tanzania, China, Nepal, and Thailand." Steve Sussman, Pallav Pokhrel, David Black, Matthew Kohrman, Stephen Hamann, Prakit Vateesatokit, Stephen Nsimba. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, vol. 9: 447-457.
2007 "Depoliticizing Tobacco’s Exceptionality: Male Sociality, Death, and Memory-Making among Chinese Cigarette Smokers." The China Journal, vol. 58: 85-109.
2005 Bodies of Difference: Experiences of Disability and Institutional Advocacy in the Making of Modern China. UC Press. 
2005 Striding Along the Road to Health: A Handbook for Giving Up Smoking (in Chinese). Co-authors: Matthew Kohrman (first author), Li Xiaoliang, Zhang Haopeng, Xiao Xia, and Yang Yan. Developed in collaboration with the School of Public Health, Kunming Medical College, and China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hong Kong: China News United Publishing (2005). Beijing: China Union Medical College Press (2007).
2004 "Should I Quit? Tobacco, Fraught Identity, and the Risks of Governmentality in Urban China." Urban Anthropology, vol. 33: 211-245.
2003 "Why Am I Not Disabled? Statistics and Transnational Subject Making in Modern China." Medical Anthropology Quarterly, vol. 17: 5-24.
2003 "Authorizing a Disability Agency in Post-Mao China: Deng Pufang's Story as Biomythography." Cultural Anthropology, vol. 18: 99-131.
2000 "Grooming Que Zi: Marriage Exclusion and Identity Formation among Disabled Men in Contemporary China." American Ethnologist, vol. 26: 890-909.
1999 "Motorcycles for the Disabled: Mobility, Modernity and the Transformation of Experience in Urban China." Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, vol. 23(1): 133-155.